This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Tattenhall near the city of Chester, in Cheshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Tatenale", and as "Tatenhala" in the Chartularly of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester, of circa 1100, and is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Tata", of now obscure meaning, and "hala", nook, recess, remote valley. The given name "Tata" is also found as the first element in the placenames Tatenhill (Staffordshire), "Tata's hill"; Tatham (Lancashire), "Tata's homestead"' and Tatton (Cheshire and Dorset), "Tata's settlement". Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere; regional dialectal influences and varying standards of literacy frequently gave rise to different forms of the original name, as here, the modern surname being found as Tat(t)enhall, Tatnall and Tatnell. Among the recordings of the name in Church Registers are the marriage of Henry Tatnell and Joane Simpson at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, on May 7th 1564, and the christening of Walter, son of Walter Tatnell, on November 11th 1669, at Edgmond in Shropshire. The family Coat of Arms depicts a silver falchion in pale, with a red hilt, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Tatnall, which was dated 1459, in Earwaker's "History of East Cheshire", during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1461. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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